August 21st, 2008
09:50 AM ET
14 years ago

Obama camp links McCain to Abramoff scandal

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Obama's campaign is out with a tough new campaign ad featuring Jack Abramoff."](CNN) - Barack Obama's campaign is linking John McCain to the infamous Jack Abramoff scandal that ended several Republicans' political careers three years ago in a new campaign ad hitting Georgia airwaves Wednesday.

The 30-second spot is the Obama campaign’s second negative ad in the past 24 hours. It attacks the Arizona senator for his association with former Christian Coalition head Ralph Reed, one of the Republicans implicated in the scandal.

The ad also seems to suggest McCain didn't call Reed to testify before a Senate panel he chaired in return for political favors.

“When the Senate investigated, the senator in charge never even called Reed to testify….And that senator? John McCain. And who’s now raising money for McCain’s campaign? Ralph Reed," the ad's narrator says. "For 26 years in Washington, John McCain’s played the same old games. We just can’t afford more of the same.”

The TV spot sparked a sharp rebuke from McCain campaign spokesman Brian Rogers, who called it "ridiculous," and noted Obama's connection to Bill Ayers, the current University of Chicago professor and one-time leader of the militant group "Weather Undeground."

“If Barack Obama wants to have a discussion about truly questionable associations, let’s start with his relationship with the unrepentant terrorist William Ayers, at whose home Obama’s political career was reportedly launched," Rogers said. "Mr. Ayers was a leader of the Weather Underground, a terrorist group responsible for countless bombings against targets including the U.S. Capitol, the Pentagon and numerous police stations, courthouses and banks."

Reed, who lost a bid in 2006 for lieutenant governor of Georgia, had promoted a McCain fundraiser last week in the Atlanta area that netted the presumptive Republican nominee $1.75 million in campaign cash. Though Reed did not attend the event (after intense Democratic criticisms), he circulated "special invitations" to several Republicans in the Atlanta area seeking donations.

That prompted several watchdog groups to call on McCain to cancel the event - although his campaign noted the fundraiser was sponsored by the Republican National Committee, not Reed.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (594 Responses)
  1. Jessie

    I hate to say it, but Obama really needs to keep going on the attack. I had initially thought that the American people were sick of the negative ads that have enveloped politics since Bush was elected and were responding well to Obama's positive outlook on change, but the polls are obviously telling a very different story.

    The American public still responds to negative ads, and unfortunately, the barage of them that McScary has put out the past couple weeks against Obama have worked to his advantage.

    McScary has so many truly negative things going against him, and I think it's high time Obama went for the jugular!

    August 21, 2008 09:49 am at 9:49 am |

    It is unfortunate that all politicians have to gear their campaigns to the negative. No way around it when you see polling numbers rise and fall with the increase in said negativity.

    August 21, 2008 09:49 am at 9:49 am |


    August 21, 2008 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  4. hillybilly

    if the shoe fits.and it does.mccain has as many crook's on his team as bush has in his administration.

    August 21, 2008 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  5. CRG

    This is a good example why I will not vote for the CHOSEN ONE as voised by the Madon Chair.

    August 21, 2008 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  6. Sam, MI

    Bring it on, McShame and group. We are ready!

    Obama 2008!! Obama 2012!!!

    Sam, MI

    August 21, 2008 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  7. Anonymous

    So much for a non attacks campain. Obama's camp is the same old politics. What a change. Pathetic.

    August 21, 2008 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  8. AdamW

    If Republicans say something enough they believe it don't they?

    August 21, 2008 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  9. Jerry

    I am so happy that Obama is attacking McCain on issue that American is hurting ,,,,,,,,,,,,McCain how there you left your wife who is sick and then went to cheat on your first wife with Cindy McCain,,,, McCain you another John Edward a family wrecker.

    Obama 08

    August 21, 2008 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  10. baker

    TO CNN: why are you not publishing my comments? They are neither hateful, false, or duplicated comments. CNN monitors are obviously catering towards pro-Obama comments and publishing less negatives against him. Be more Impartial CNN!

    August 21, 2008 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  11. AL in West Palm Beach, FL

    As a christian independant leaning democrat, I find it hard for republicans to claim me as part of their base. They are the most unthetical, throat slashing, money loving, boys-wanting, sex addicting, bad-habit-hiding, jesus-calling-hypocrite group of half-brained individuals I know.

    So, unethical behaviors and republicans should be synonimous and the republican party should please count me out of their base.

    August 21, 2008 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  12. Bill Simmons

    When are people going to wise up to this Idiot from Illinois about how stupid he is? His campaign is pulling money from peoples bank account with their authorizing it! As to his Ability to be Pres, or a Senator for that matter, How the did he get anywhere?

    August 21, 2008 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  13. Les

    Watch out, all religious freedoms go down the tube if McCain becomes president. He himself said this is a Christian nation. So, that means he voted to go to war in Iraq as part of some sort of McCain Christian Crusades. Yeah, I feel sorry for the US of A if he become president because he can not even respect the religious views of the other HALF of the country!

    August 21, 2008 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  14. maria

    mcain is the biggest fraud of all. AMerican's are too blind to see it.

    August 21, 2008 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  15. lena/dallas

    OBAMA 08/12 ALL THE WAY!

    August 21, 2008 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  16. Bill Simmons

    oops " without" their authorizing it!

    August 21, 2008 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  17. RainBow

    When will the so-called candidiates speak about what THEY will do instead of what the OTHER guy has done. Can I vote for "None of the Above?" What a sad state of affairs to have two losers running for President. Each one worse than the next....

    August 21, 2008 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  18. Molly

    It's about time!

    Obama 08!

    August 21, 2008 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  19. Kerry

    I am glad Obama is hitting back hard, that old goat Mc Cain does not walk on water. !!!!!!!

    August 21, 2008 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  20. beevee

    It is time for Mr. Obama to take off his gloves and throw offensive punches instead of defensive punching since McCain started the perosnal attack politics. Surely there is a lot that can be criticized of McCain's personal and professional life which the self-righteous conservative republicans may want to know before deciding to vote for McCain.

    August 21, 2008 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  21. David

    Let the record show OBAMA hit below the belt first.

    August 21, 2008 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  22. Montana is Obama Country

    A terrorist when Barack was 8 years OLD..!! Do some fact checking before you start spewing lies..!!

    Why would a University of Ill of Chicgo HIRE a terrorist..???

    That seems real dumb... Kinda like your guy.

    McWar said he WILL BRING back the DRAFT.....

    Save your family from more wars... Vote against McWar..

    August 21, 2008 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  23. Doris

    Doesn't matter what Obama camp throws out. McCain will win. Obama supporters should have backed the only person who could have beat McCain. That of course is Hillary Clinton. I ask God each day to give me the strength to go and vote for McCain knowing that my poor father will probably turn in his grave. I will not vote for Obama under any circumstances. Remember people it's not about what party takes the whitehouse. Its about who we think can fix this country. I honestly think McCain would be a better leader.

    August 21, 2008 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  24. OMG

    Yep. We are in America. Politicians slinging hash at each other instead of talking about the issues that concern the citizens of the country they supposedly love and the steps they are going to take to fix this nation. Either way you vote, we are all going to loose.. If you vote McCain, we will get 4 mores years of the Bush theory. If you vote Obama, we get someone without the experience to lead this great nation. Very bleak future................................

    August 21, 2008 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  25. Randy

    The ad really doesn't "link" Mccaine to anything improper....where is the proof of these "suggestions" Sen. Obama is making? I find this type of campaigning very distasteful on Obama's part. He is constantly putting words in Mccaine's mouth that I have never heard Mccaine say. Never once have I hear Mccaine mention anything about Obama's race, just Obama and his supporters. Never once have I heard Mccaine question Obama's love of this country (in fact just the opposite I have hear Mccaine say point blank that Obama loves his country) Obama is really sinking to a new low in politics and his campaign is really starting to sound desperate.

    August 21, 2008 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24